Governor Wike Kicks Against Withdrawal Of $1 Billion ECA Fund
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state on Friday kicked against the authorization for the federal government to withdraw the sum of $1billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) belonging to all tiers of government.
He was at the presidential villa, Abuja to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on the current security situation in the state after which he told State House corespondents that the withdrawal from the fund by the federal government would be illegal.
The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) had approved the money for withdrawal by the federal government to aid it in the fight against insurgency in the north east.
Governor Wike however said that he was in support of the federal government’s fight against insurgency.
He said: “Even though for me it’s illegal, for me it is. However, we are told we are fighting insurgency and no right thinking person in the country will say that he would not support the government in fighting against the insurgency.
“But on the other hand too, I believe that when you are talking about environmental issues in the Niger Delta particularly the Ogoniland, I believe that we can also take money from there (Excess Crude Account) to solve the problem of Ogoniland and other Niger Delta areas. That is my position.”
On the meeting with President Buhari, he said he updated the President on the security situation in the state.
Wike said the meeting focused mainly on security and other developmental issues in Rivers state, adding that he was happy with the discussion.
He described his relationship with the President as cordial, adding: “I’m happy with the discussion and I believe that something has to be done about (security) it.
“Nothing political, just security issue that affects the state and things that may lead to the breakdown of law and order. We talked on security challenges and he received me very well.
“We don’t have any bad relationship. I come here when he asked me to come.’’
On the allegation that he manipulated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Convention to install his candidate as the national chairman of the party, Wike said it was not impossible for a single individual to install a party chairman in the country.
“It is impossible for one person to own a party. The only thing is that people are vibrating and the ruling party is jittering about it,’’ he said.